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Ames Laboratory innovation key to a 'lead-free' Europe

pper formula, including silicon, titanium, chromium, manganese, nickel, zinc and germanium. Joints soldered with the different alloys were subjected to 150 C for 1000 hours, then tested for both shear strength and impact strength.

"Zinc appears to be most attractive in terms of retained ductility and strength," Anderson said, "and also offers benefits in terms of solderability, ease of alloying and material cost." While additional testing is needed, he added that the tin-silver-copper-zinc composition is covered under the original patent.

One other benefit of this recent work is development of a simple technique for characterizing the bulk composition of solder joints using an electron microprobe. This permits Anderson's research team to analyze the new compositions being studied under different soldering conditions.

"With the elimination of lead, tin-silver-copper solders are here for the long-run," Anderson said. "But that doesn't mean we'll stop trying to improve our basic understanding of how these alloys work in order to improve their performance."


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Contact: Kerry Gibson
kgibson@ameslab.gov
515-293-1405
DOE/Ames Laboratory
6-Feb-2006


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